BOZICH | Putting coaching hot seat lists on blast - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Putting coaching hot seat lists on blast

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Coaching hot seats lists are the fast food of Internet sports writing. Coaching hot seats lists are the fast food of Internet sports writing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – I apologize. This is a lazy column.

It’s not the laziest column I could have written. Just the second laziest.

The laziest column would have been a 'hot seat' list for college basketball coaches as the fresh season tips off or for college football coaches as the current season grinds to its conclusion.

I could make a sexy list with names you love or loathe. Assign odds. Bounce some wisecracks off Eric Crawford. Open the names for discussion.

I’d later remind you that I was correct when a change occurred. Never say another word when somebody coached his way off the list, regardless of how imaginary the hot seat was.

I’ve done that. But I’ve coached myself to stop making or reading hot seat Lists.

I have another take today. My take is this: "Hot seat lists are to sports reporting what Halloween candy is to gourmet dining." They’re the junk food of sports journalism. They taste OK, but tell you nothing of substance.

You can’t stop clicking on them even after you’ve been warned there is zero nutritional value. They’re often written by folks with minimal direct access to people who actually fire and hire coaches.

Example A: Flip a coin -- Terry Collins of the New York Mets or Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals.

I’ll give the honors to Yost. His team won the 2015 World Series. Grantland was once consistently applauded for its pursuit of analytics and insightful writing.

Chances are this story written by Michael Baumann on April 22, 2014 did not make the list. He ranked Yost as the big-league manager most likely to be fired, with odds of 2-1.

Wrote Baumann, “It’s not like Yost has a track record of success or a reputation of being a conspicuously good manager anyway.”

Everybody swings and misses. That story was posted 18 months before Yost finally hoisted the commissioner’s trophy.

This story was posted less than six months before the start of the 2015 World Series: “Why Mets’ Terry Collins is so happy to be back on the hot seat.”

Please tell me why, Ken Davidoff. I read your story. Essentially it said Collins was a goner because of past failures.

A hat tip hardly seems like enough praise for Collins, who dragged his hot seat behind him as his team outplayed the talented Washington Nationals, the expensive Los Angeles Dodgers and the sizzling Chicago Cubs to get to the World Series.

According to this story by Jon Heyman of, Collins’ seat was not merely hot. It was scalding. On March 31, 2015, Collins led Heyman’s list of managers likely to be gone.

What about the college game?

Yahoo! Sports had Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney on the hot seat 14 months ago. “At what point does the habitual Clemsoning begin to wear thin on the fan base?” asked Graham Watson.

I’m not sure, Graham, but probably not today. Clemson headlines the latest poll for the 2015 college football playoff. Dabo Swinney, miracle worker.

A simple Google search uncovered this story, posted at last June 2: “Is Kirk Ferentz in trouble? Iowa tickets sales decline as contract looms.”

News flash: The only thing hot in Iowa City are the seats in Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes have averaged nearly 62,000 fans per game this season to watch their 9-0 team, ranked sixth in the playoff hunt.

You don’t have to be Woodward or Bernstein to find evidence of people dogging Ferentz. Ty Duffy of The Big Lead posted his hot seat Top 10 last January.

He nailed Al Golden of Miami, Tim Beckman of Illinois and Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech.

Hold your applause. Odds are that Larry Fedora of 8-1 North Carolina, Mike Leach of 6-3 Washington State and Ferentz will survive to qualify for a Hot Seat List to be Named Later.

Let’s not forget college hoops. Not in this part of the country.

Maryland is a fashionable pick to win the Big Ten and contend for the national championship this season. Mark Turgeon coaches the Terps. A year ago you could not click on a Hot Seat list without finding several paragraphs devoted to Turgeon.

Was Turgeon actually on the hot seat?

I don’t think so.

Details, details. I’ll let Gary Parrish of CBSSports (a site that is a prime contributor to hot seat toxicity) explain, as he did in this story Parrish wrote about Turgeon last month:

“You struggle a bit, for whatever reason, and your job security is suddenly in question. It’s not always fair or even accurate. But that rarely matters.

“Because all that really matters is that a perception is created and that perception, right or wrong, is that one more year short of expectations might have school officials eating your contract and moving in another direction.”

I repeat: It’s not always fair.

Or even accurate.

No fairness. No accuracy. I warned you that I was being lazy, but there’s no reason to say another word about hot seat lists.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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